Jake's Famous Crawfish, Portland, Oregon
I had a feeling that this place (401 SW 12th Avenue, 503-226-1419) was a bit of a tourist trap. But hey - it's hard for me to resist wood-paneled seafood places like this, especially when it was this old and apparently well-known too. We came here tonight with several things already in mind: steamed manila clams, a wedge salad, and - given the shop's name - the crawfish boil. The good thing was that the steamed clams (and their juice in particular) were super savory. And the wedge salad was refreshing.
But I was kinda let down on the crawfish. I don't know if it's because these locally-sourced crawfish were different from the ones in Louisiana, but the tails on these were so much smaller than the heads, thus not leaving much to eat. Worse, the heads didn't really have any "soup" left in them, thus not providing much of that savory goodness to suck out either. I couldn't help but think of those Vietnamese-Cajun places instead. At least the sausages were spicy, and the corn on the cob was good enough that I wished that they had included more.
Either way, Jake's was still a far cry from the Tadich Grill in San Francisco. I wonder if that was a result of Jake's being owned by McCormick and Schmick's, a chain that has always been a bit wobbly in my experience. In retrospect, we probably could have just sat at the bar and been happy with nothing but those steamed clams and a loaf of that sourdough bread.